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segunda-feira, novembro 23, 2009

Asian Stocks, Aussie Gain on Economy Outlook; Gold Hits Record

Asian Stocks, Aussie Gain on Economy Outlook; Gold Hits Record
By Glenys Sim and Shani Raja

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose for first time in three days, gold climbed to a record and the Australian dollar led gains in the region’s currencies on signs the economic recovery is gathering pace.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, led a 0.5 percent advance in the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index to 409.56 as of 10:57 a.m. in Tokyo. Gold for immediate delivery jumped 1 percent to a record $1,162.22 an ounce as investors sought alternatives to the U.S. dollar, which weakened against 14 of the 16 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Copper, zinc and oil prices also rose.

Economic reports this week will show rising export orders in Taiwan and South Korea and faster economic growth in the Philippines, according to Bloomberg News surveys of economists. In the U.S., data will indicate personal spending, durable goods orders and home sales climbed, separate surveys show.

“People remain positive that the recovery is in place,” said Tim Schroeders, who helps manage $1.1 billion at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne. “But we’re not getting carried away. Valuations are fairly reflective of a bullish economic environment, and you don’t need much in terms of softer-than- anticipated growth or a withdrawal of stimulus measures to make investors nervous.”

Commodity companies led a 0.7 percent gain in Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index. Rio Tinto climbed 2.2 percent to A$72.79 in Sydney. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s largest gold producer, added 3.5 percent to A$37.08. Japanese markets were closed today for a holiday.

Australian Dollar, Gold

James Hardie Industries NV, the top seller of home siding in the U.S., surged 7.8 percent to A$7.98 after forecasting full-year earnings at the top of a range of analyst estimates. The National Association of Realtors is expected to report tomorrow that purchases of existing homes rose 2.3 percent in October to an annual pace of 5.7 million, the highest level since July 2007, according to the survey median.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.3 percent. The benchmark gauge for American equities rallied in the last two hours of trading on Nov. 20, paring its loss for the day to 0.3 percent from as much as 0.7 percent.

The Australian dollar strengthened 0.5 percent to 91.89 U.S. cents along with gold, the nation’s third most valuable commodity export. South Africa’s rand gained 0.8 percent to 7.55 to the U.S. dollar. The euro climbed 0.4 percent against the greenback to $1.4924. New Zealand’s dollar gained 0.2 percent to 72.55 U.S. cents.

Gold has risen 32 percent this year as the Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency’s value against six major trading partners, fell 7.2 percent. The most accurate forecasters predict the U.S. currency will extend its drop as the world’s lowest borrowing costs, rising unemployment and a record $4 trillion of government bond sales in 2009 and 2010 weigh on the dollar.

‘Very Upbeat’

Copper advanced 1.6 percent to $6,952 a metric ton and zinc gained 1.1 percent to $2,280 a ton.

“Sentiment is very upbeat,” Stefan Graber, a Singapore- based analyst at Credit Suisse Group, said by phone today. “Investor interest has spilled over from those seeking a hedge against the dollar to other buying interests as well, such as central bank purchases.”

Crude oil rose 1 percent to $78.24 a barrel in New York on speculation demand will increase as Asia leads the rebound from the first global recession since World War II.

Oil, OECD

“The market’s looking ahead in terms of recovery in demand for oil and products,” said Toby Hassall, a research analyst with CWA Global Markets Pty in Sydney. “It does not look like the U.S. will come out of this slump before a lot of other economies.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Nov. 19 raised the forecast for 2010 growth in its 30 member countries to 1.9 percent from a previous target of 0.7 percent. The OECD predicted further acceleration in 2011, led by China, according to the report.

Taiwan’s export orders grew 4 percent in October, compared with a decline of 3 percent in the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 10 analysts before the statistics bureau releases data today. The Philippines will report accelerating third-quarter economic growth on Nov. 26, a separate survey of six analysts showed.

The Korea Development Institute said yesterday that the economy will expand 0.2 percent this year, reversing a forecast for a 0.7 percent contraction. Thailand’s government said today that gross domestic product shrank at a slower pace in the third quarter than in the previous three months.

U.S. Spending

U.S. personal spending increased 0.5 percent after dropping by the same amount in September, according to the median estimate of 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before a Commerce Department report due Nov. 25.

Treasury futures contracts declined as the U.S. prepares to sell a record $118 billion of notes in three auctions starting today. The offerings begin with $44 billion of two-year notes, raising speculation yields near a record low will curtail demand. The yield on 10-year futures contracts for December delivery rose one basis point to 3.66 percent, based on electronic transactions at the Chicago Board of Trade.

“You’re going to have a large amount of supply,” said Peter Jolly, the Sydney-based head of market research for the investment-banking unit of National Australia Bank Ltd., the nation’s third-largest lender by market value. “There are some sizable challenges for the rally to continue. We’re more likely to see yields move higher.”

The cost of protecting Australian corporate bonds from default fell 2 basis points to 91.5 basis points as of 11:48 a.m. in Sydney today, according to Citigroup Inc. The Markit iTraxx Australia index peaked at 443 basis points on March 10, according to CMA DataVision prices on Bloomberg.

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